Mothers of babies under 12 months old and families who earn more than $80,000 will lose government bonuses as part of a budget-cutting deal struck between the two major political parties.
The baby bonus, which came in the form of a $1000 pay out to mums of infants aged under a year old, has been axed, while the Family Tax Benefit end-of-year supplement to families has been limited to families who earn less than $80,000 a year.
A Parliamentary Budget Office analysis published in March found the baby bonus alone would cost taxpayers $1.4 billion over the next 10 years.
These cuts are part of a $6 billion savings deal struck between the Coalition Government and the Labor Opposition.
But not everyone is happy. The Guardian reports that parent groups have accused Labor of ignoring its principles, particularly in limiting access to the family tax benefit A.
Jo Briskey, executive director of The Parenthood, told The Guardian: “This is a significant blow for parents who were relying on Labor to block any cuts to family tax benefit payments.”
In defending the cuts, Opposition Leader Bill Shorten says it was a “hard choice”.
“In a perfect world you don’t have to do any of these things,” he said.
“But I tell you what, if you’re someone who is only getting $260 a week, you’re unemployed, you’ve got no opportunities, you’re not getting a job, cutting their income compared to cutting (the income of) someone who might be on $140,000 and receiving an extra payment, I think we’ve got to look after the most vulnerable in our society as a priority.”